Transitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Desert

dc.contributor.authorSchulze-Makuch, Dirk
dc.contributor.authorWagner, Dirk
dc.contributor.authorKounaves, Samuel P.
dc.contributor.authorMangelsdorf, Kai
dc.contributor.authorDevine, Kevin G.
dc.contributor.authorVera, Jean-Pierre de
dc.contributor.authorSchmitt-Kopplin, Philippe
dc.contributor.authorGrossart, Hans-Peter
dc.contributor.authorParro, Victor
dc.contributor.authorKaupenjohann, Martin
dc.contributor.authorGaly, Albert
dc.contributor.authorSchneider, Beate
dc.contributor.authorAiro, Alessandro
dc.contributor.authorFrösler, Jan
dc.contributor.authorDavila, Alfonso F.
dc.contributor.authorArens, Felix L.
dc.contributor.authorCáceres, Luis
dc.contributor.authorCornejo, Francisco Solís
dc.contributor.authorCarrizo, Daniel
dc.contributor.authorDartnell, Lewis
dc.contributor.authorDiRuggiero, Jocelyne
dc.contributor.authorFlury, Markus
dc.contributor.authorGanzert, Lars
dc.contributor.authorGessner, Mark O.
dc.contributor.authorGrathwohl, Peter
dc.contributor.authorGuan, Lisa
dc.contributor.authorHeinz, Jacob
dc.contributor.authorHess, Matthias
dc.contributor.authorKeppler, Frank
dc.contributor.authorMaus, Deborah
dc.contributor.authorMcKay, Christopher P.
dc.contributor.authorMeckenstock, Rainer U.
dc.contributor.authorMontgomery, Wren
dc.contributor.authorOberlin, Elizabeth A.
dc.contributor.authorProbst, Alexander J.
dc.contributor.authorSáenz, Johan S.
dc.contributor.authorSattler, Tobias
dc.contributor.authorSchirmack, Janosch
dc.contributor.authorSephton, Mark A.
dc.contributor.authorSchloter, Michael
dc.contributor.authorUhl, Jenny
dc.contributor.authorValenzuela, Bernardita
dc.contributor.authorVestergaard, Gisle
dc.contributor.authorWörmer, Lars
dc.contributor.authorZamorano, Pedro
dc.date.accessioned2021-07-07T12:45:54Z
dc.date.available2021-07-07T12:45:54Z
dc.date.issued2018-02-26
dc.description.abstractTraces of life are nearly ubiquitous on Earth. However, a central unresolved question is whether these traces always indicate an active microbial community or whether, in extreme environments, such as hyperarid deserts, they instead reflect just dormant or dead cells. Although microbial biomass and diversity decrease with increasing aridity in the Atacama Desert, we provide multiple lines of evidence for the presence of an at times metabolically active, microbial community in one of the driest places on Earth. We base this observation on four major lines of evidence: (i) a physico-chemical characterization of the soil habitability after an exceptional rain event, (ii) identified biomolecules indicative of potentially active cells [e.g., presence of ATP, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs), metabolites, and enzymatic activity], (iii) measurements of in situ replication rates of genomes of uncultivated bacteria reconstructed from selected samples, and (iv) microbial community patterns specific to soil parameters and depths. We infer that the microbial populations have undergone selection and adaptation in response to their specific soil microenvironment and in particular to the degree of aridity. Collectively, our results highlight that even the hyperarid Atacama Desert can provide a habitable environment for microorganisms that allows them to become metabolically active following an episodic increase in moisture and that once it decreases, so does the activity of the microbiota. These results have implications for the prospect of life on other planets such as Mars, which has transitioned from an earlier wetter environment to today’s extreme hyperaridity.en
dc.description.sponsorshipEC/FP7/339231/EU/Habitability of Martian Environments: Exploring the Physiological and Environmental Limits of Life/HOMEen
dc.description.sponsorshipEC/H2020/654208/EU/EUROPLANET 2020 Research Infrastructure/EPN2020-RIen
dc.identifier.eissn1091-6490
dc.identifier.issn0027-8424
dc.identifier.urihttps://depositonce.tu-berlin.de/handle/11303/13379
dc.identifier.urihttp://dx.doi.org/10.14279/depositonce-12162
dc.language.isoenen
dc.rights.urihttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/en
dc.subject.ddc550 Geowissenschaftende
dc.subject.otherhabitaten
dc.subject.otheraridityen
dc.subject.othermicrobial activityen
dc.subject.otherbiomarkeren
dc.subject.otherMarsen
dc.titleTransitory microbial habitat in the hyperarid Atacama Deserten
dc.typeArticleen
dc.type.versionpublishedVersionen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.doi10.1073/pnas.1714341115en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.issue11en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.journaltitleProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of Americaen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.originalpublishernameNational Academy of Sciencesen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.originalpublisherplaceWashington, DCen
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.pageend2675en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.pagestart2670en
dcterms.bibliographicCitation.volume115en
tub.accessrights.dnbfreeen
tub.affiliationFak. 2 Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften>Zentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysikde
tub.affiliation.facultyFak. 2 Mathematik und Naturwissenschaftende
tub.affiliation.instituteZentrum für Astronomie und Astrophysikde
tub.publisher.universityorinstitutionTechnische Universität Berlinen
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